SUBJECT-MATTER OF LAW AND ADMINISTRATION. 395 which medical guardians ought ever to have their eyes. Where the community is small all may be grouped together, but in large cities they can perhaps better act apart, and yet be so connected as to be enabled to play into each other's hands, I would then have public order entrusted by itself to a set of men who are only prepared to put down and resist force, or to combat with the destructive powers of nature. Making these limits, we come to subdivisions of the police power properly so called, according as the harmful agencies to be met proceed from evil men or from the element of fire. A fire department has a distinct work of its own not needing the action of individual men, but the combined strength and skill of a number engaged in the very simple work of extinguish- ing flames. A night police, on the other hand, has a num- ber of very delicate duties confided to it, besides that of giving the alarm when fires break out. The men on duty are called to detain and arrest suspicious persons, to visit drinking and gambling houses, it may be, to put a stop to nocturnal brawls, to repress noise, to take up vagrants, with various other duties, some of which require the exercise of considerable firmness and discretion. They are often called to defend themselves or to attack a superior force of vaga- bonds. Courage and strength of resolution must be put forth, if they would act their parts well. It is to be regretted that with such responsibilities laid on them they should be held in so little esteem.* 2. It has appeared that the appointment of a police force, of its officers and men, as well as of its superintendent, ought to be removed as far as possible from the influences of political parties. This is the more necessary on account of the rank of life from which the men are taken, which allows of corrupt approaches on political accounts with the view to shield the underlings of leaders in town politics. The best way of ap- pointing the police is perhaps in large cities that the mayor be responsible for the composition of the corps in a city, or that a 1 • * Comp. Bluntschli, Staatsr., ii., 175 ed. i.